In a lot places elk are bugled at constantly by guys on ATVs. I'm of the opinion that unless you really know what you're doing, you probably don't want to bugle at all. In most places, I wouldn't bugle unless it was way before dawn or after dusk, just to make sure there are elk in the area.
If they are bugling you should be able to move in on them. More often than not, it's going to be a little guy, and any good sounding bugle may scare him off.
Ex. is correct, get a cow call to call the elk in closer. I only bugle to locate bulls most of the time. Some times you might bugle to pick a fight with a bull, then i'll rake a tree and bugle, he will either come to fight or gather his cows and split. Primo's has a nice (pack bugle) its not to big and does'nt let you sound to big either.
I agree with Ex, unless you have time to go out and learn how to do it and get away from the other hunters then the bugle is not worth that much. Now a cow call and I can't believe I am saying this but the Hoochie MaMa is one of the best out there will work quite well. I have seen spike bulls run over a half mile to me after I have used it.
There is one tip I have learned over the years in hunting whitetails in late season snow. Do not overlook soybeans left standing on the edges of fence rows, woods, creeks, buildings wherever it might be, this is where the deer will be while the food lasts during late season. December/January will pull deer in from some distance away to feed on the easy to get to food.
I killed one of my nicest bucks off of a very small patch of soybeans that was left after rains created a...